On April 6, 2020 the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) will host the first Youth Russian Internet Governance Forum (Youth RIGF 2020). The forum is being organized by the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ, Skoltech and the Ruspromo International Promotion Center. Noncommercial organizations, businesses, academicians, and state bodies are involved in the preparations, and Youth RIGF 2020 should become an open platform to discuss internet development prospects with young people. The event will offer a multilateral dialogue with interested young people to discuss internet-related problems.
The youth forum program will focus on issues related to the use of artificial intelligence to solve business and state tasks as well as support for cultural and linguistic diversity on the internet. The forum will open with the plenary session “Global policy of technology and common sense governance,” after which the participants will be separated into two sections.
Young people in the section “Artificial intelligence: Risks and opportunities for development,” will discuss how healthcare, the economy, science, industry and the social sphere respond to the development and introduction of AI technologies and how can balance be maintained between safety and development. The second section is titled “Diversity in the virtual environment,” and is dedicated to “digital diversity” and preservation of cultural, language, and technological diversity online. The forum is being held in the 10th anniversary of the .РФ Cyrillic domain, and among other things the participants in this flow will discuss the role of IDN domains in developing content in various national languages.
The list of speakers include Skoltech Rector, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Kuleshov; Director of the Skoltech Center for Scientific and Engineering Computing Technologies for Mass Data Tasks Maxim Fyodorov; Alexei Natekin, founder of the largest data-specialist community in the CIS, Open Data Science, CEO of the Data Souls ML competitions platform; member of the problem group on literature language theory of the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences Natalya Germanova; and Alexander Ageyev, General Director of the International Research Institute for Advanced Systems (MNIIPU) and the Institute for Economic Strategies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, member of the Russian and European Academies of Natural Sciences.
“For several years now, the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ has held “zero day” ahead of the Russian Internet Governance Forum. On this day, RIGF speakers have delivered lectures for university and college students, held seminars and roundtable discussions. This year, youth initiatives have a separate event: the Youth Russian Internet Governance Forum,” said Coordination Center Director Andrei Vorobyov.
In addition, the youth forum will also have its zero days: on April 4–5, the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ and the Club for Internet and Society Enthusiasts will hold the youth internet governance seminar. It is an education and discussion event at the same time, to which students, postgraduates and young specialists are invited. The educational part includes several webinars and offline lectures followed by a series of workshops and discussions. Preparations for the seminar will begin in March with webinars on the basics of internet governance. On April 4 and 5, the seminar’s topics will be discussed offline with experts and in groups to form positions on each one. The results of the group work will be presented at Youth RIGF 2020 on April 6.
Youth internet governance forums are held widely and have proven to be a good practice. Last year there was a youth forum at the global IGF, and many national and regional internet governance forums organize similar events for youth and students. For example, the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF 2019) was held in Vladivostok, and Youth IGF 2019 was held at the same time and attended by students from various countries. Establishing a sustainable internet community and youth’s role in this process were the subjects at Youth IGF 2019. A special youth agenda was developed for participants in Youth IGF 2019, but students also took part in the main program sessions.
Youth RIGF 2020 will involve young people in the discussion of the most topical issues on the internet governance agenda, establish a dialogue between them and seasoned specialists in various areas of internet governance, and give them a chance to voice their opinion on the most important matters in the development of the global network. The forum serves as a platform to exchange experience and establish cooperation between young people and Russian and international experts in order to discuss the current situation and ways to resolve the tasks at hand.
Registration for Youth RIGF 2020 is open through March 31 at the site of Youth RIGF 2020.